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Roman Bridge

North Stow Lake Bridge

Roman Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: April 7, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Pedestrian Walkway Over Stow Lake
San Francisco: San Francisco County, California: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1893 By Builder/Contractor: Gray Brothers Artificial Stone Paving Company of San Francisco, California and Engineer/Design: Arthur Page Brown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View The Golden Gate Park Historic District Nomination Form

View John J. Schillinger Artificial Stone Paving Patents

With an 1893 construction date, this reinforced concrete bridge with metal reinforcing rods within is among the oldest surviving concrete bridges. Despite this fact, the bridge was designed with a very streamlined, graceful design that makes the bridge look somewhat "modern" in appearance, certainly far newer than the bridge in reality is. The bridge was designed by architect Arthur Page Brown. The bridge was built in a time where most builders had not realized the physical and aesthetic potential of concrete and often tried to make simple concrete arch bridges with details to make the concrete bridge look like a stone arch bridge, a familiar aesthetic of the period. In contrast, Brown's design is an early, successful attempt to utilize the aesthetics of concrete without trying to hide the reality that the bridge is made of concrete. Brown's design, with its flowing curved railing that gives the bridge a sweeping appearance is simple, but still visually pleasing.

The bridge was constructed by the Gray Brothers Artificial Stone Paving Company of San Francisco, California as indicated by the builder plaque, placed at the unusual location at water level on the abutments. The plaque also mentions Schillinger patents. This refers to John J. Schillinger who held several patents for concrete pavements that were designed to look like stone. Based on the name of the company it appears this is what the Gray Brothers Artificial Stone Paving Company specialized in, and suggests that bridge construction may not have been their primary source of business. The two Gray brothers were George F. Gray and Harry Gray.


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